|She Who Waits by Daniel Polansky|
Published by Hodder
ARC - 405 pages
Published October 2013
Review copy given by publisher
Once again, Polansky imbues Warden with all the dark wit and cynical snark that made his series so enjoyable. As a veteran, drug pusher and crime lord with a very fragile grasp of morality, Warden swaggers about Low Town with the kind of air that only comes to someone who’s had to fight tooth and nail to earn his position.
There’s plenty of action in the city of Rigus. You can forget the sweeping epic worlds of high fantasy; Polansky fills this relatively small area to the brim with violence, murder, intrigue and a little bit of magic. This means that every alleyway, every dead end and every street corner is a powder keg waiting to explode.
The Low Town series is all about Warden, but I was glad to see that She Who Waits put a bit more focus put into the likes of Adolphus, Warden’s buddy-in-arms, and Wren, Warden’s magical protégé. Wren especially comes into his own as he tries to assert his position with Warden, earning himself a sliver of Warden’s snark in the process.
As the final episode in the series, She Who Waits ends with a satisfying payoff that does Warden and the slums of Low Town justice. And as soon as you finish it, you’ll want to pick up the first novel, The Straight Razor Cure, and start all over again.
This was the series that pulled me into dark fantasy by the throat and refused to let go until I’d fully immersed myself into its darkness. It’ll do the same to you, and you’ll love it. An outstanding conclusion to an excellent series.